About four days ago, I hit a wall. Like a big, thick wall I could not climb over.
I'm an athlete. I've hit many walls in my life. I know that I'll get through them. I knew, deep down, I'd get through this one, but I just felt like I didn't want to try to climb anymore. I wanted to quit.
I think what tipped me over was having our stairs sanded and varnished and painted which meant we couldn't go upstairs for four days. This meant everything back in my bedroom, and a room that I felt was finally getting under control, spiraling out of control again.
It is good to write these things because writing down that it was just "stuff" causing me to hit the wall is good to see. It is good to realize that in truth, it's still a bit shallow.
People call it first-world problems. I don't really buy that. Just because I live in the first-world doesn't make my problem not a problem. If I am always comparing it to people living harder lives than me, then I don't ever have an instance where it is okay for me to complain. Only one person in the world has it the worst.
My husband was a rock star. He talked me down off about four cliffs -- and honestly, I am not sure how he even knew which cliff I was on. He had such patience with me as I considered plopping down in a corner many different times and just having a great big cry fest.
Here's what I learned as I began figuring out a way to climb over the wall.
I thrive on order. I didn't realize how much until the very thing I thrive on was GONE. In the midst of all of our moves and life changes, I managed to maintain ORDER. Every time we PCS'ed (four!) I would make it work by maintaining order. Our things, our paperwork, our lives, while in upheaval, were orderly. When we moved into a new house, it was orderly. I was organized. We never stayed in boxes more than a few days. I am not neurotic about it. I am diligent and determined.
Leave it to God to humble me yet again. How many times in life do I say: I got this only to realize Yeah right.
He yanked that ORDER blanket out right from under me. When I balked at doing renovations because I thought it was overboard, he brought a small flood, and the renovations were forced upon us. He ordered our steps every single step of the way. He lead us to our renovation team, and we've felt his guidance all along the way.
But He has let me know what it feels like to live in state of disarray.
So many times in life you think you know what something feels like until you actually feel it.
- You can't understand childlessness until you are childless.
- You can't understand pain until you feel terrible pain.
- You can't understand living away from family until you do.
- You can't understand moving every 2-4 years until you are the one who is saying good bye again.
- You can't understand losing someone you love until you do.
- You can't understand addiction unless you've been addicted.
- You can't put yourselves in someone else's shoes unless you've stood in those shoes.
I remember my Grama Huisman, a few months before she died, calling our home on Eglin AFB telling me how much pain she was in. "All those times I prayed for people who were in pain," she said, "I never really understood what it meant to live in pain."
I truly believe that God doesn't cause BAD but He always makes good out of the bad. (Romans 8:28). I believe that God is teaching me, in the midst of this renovation storm, what it feels like to not be able to maintain order. What do you do when order is not possible? How do you function? What does that feel like? John keeps telling me, "Wendi you can't organize this. It's unorganizable. You must embrace the chaos."
How do I do that?
And in the midst of that, He gave me a special gift. I got my dressers for my room and the stairs were completed on the same day. The kids returned upstairs, and I was able to start putting my bedroom back together. It is just one room, but it was what I needed to feel some semblance of order amidst the storm. A neighbor, raising money for a mission trip, came over for a few hours. We planned on her doing work out on the farm, but the heat changed those plans. Instead, she helped me unpack books from the garage and start getting things back where they go.
Wherever YOU are today, don't forget that God is in the storm and that He will use this storm for you to stand alongside others. He is growing you. He is teaching you. He is leading.